Merry post-win Monday, everyone!
Hey, that was a fun game to watch, my only regret is that I wasn’t able to make it to Minny to attend the festivities at the dojo and see the game live.
Let’s start with the defense. Once again, they showed why they are considered by many to be the best in the NFL. Wow. Barr and Kendricks are putting on a linebacker clinic this year, they have both been on an absolute tear all year long. All that grumbling we were hearing about Barr after last year has been silenced. Harrison, Xavier, and the rest of the secondary all performed extremely well once again. Sendejo almost removed Mike Wallace from his head at the beginning of the game, and the defense kept that same ferocity throughout. I’m not sure what I can even say about the D line, I don’t think there are many who wouldn’t agree that they are possibly the best D line in the NFL. Griffen and Hunter are probably regular visitors in the nightmares of NFL offensive tackles, Joseph is the best nose tackle in football, and Johnson has come up big for the team (he got absolutely hosed on a roughing the passer call yesterday). This team held the Ravens offense to 9 points, unless you want to count the garbage time TD.
The offense is not dominating teams like the defense is, but they are performing far above expectations in a lot of areas. Nobody predicted the O line to have the almost instantaneous turnaround they’ve had this year. The running backs have lanes to run through, and the quarterback actually has time to throw the ball. Case Keenum had an okay day, but you see the inconsistency show up at times. Hey, he’s the backup to the guy we brought in to hold down the fort while our starter recovered, so I’m not going to complain one bit. He’s performing far better than our starting QBs performed from 2011-2013, so I’ll give the kid credit. If he can keep this team in solid position until either Sam or Teddy can get to 100%, I’ll be elated. Latavius Murray had a great day rushing the ball yesterday, and he and McKinnon make a pretty decent tandem. I like how Murray gets to the O line immediately and can find the seam when there’s one there, McKinnon could take some pointers from him. You have to think that Murray’s health is getting close to 100%, as he looked like a completely different running back yesterday, compared to how he looked to start the season. Oh, and we can’t go without giving Kai Forbath a little love. He made 5 field goals yesterday, a couple of them from long range. He did miss a PAT, but he was drilling the field goals, and I had a little flashback of Jerry Burns’ press conference when he approached Karlis’ team record.
I’d like to give kudos to our coaching staff as well. Pat Shurmur has done a magnificent job with this offense this year, we’re looking better in every facet of the game, and he’s done that with only having his starting QB for one game (pretty much). You also have to give credit to Tony Sparano, he was the target of a lot of ire over the off season, but the turnaround he and Shurmur (and the new players) have pulled off with the O line is nothing short of amazing. I cannot describe how thankful I am that the team hired Mike Zimmer, I’ve kept my admiration for him no secret. I love watching a good defense, and he’s turned the worst defense in the NFL (arguably) into the best defense in the NFL (arguably) in 3 short years. I didn’t get to see the 70s Vikings defenses, so seeing us dominate that side of the ball is uncharted territory for me. I love it.
Enjoy the win, folks; the good guys are 5-2 and sit atop the NFC North. Get used to seeing them there, I think the balance of power in the division is shifting. Speaking of 5, I see a fresh, free pack of cigars in my future.
Around the DN since our last open thread:
Chris has your post-game wrap-up.
Zimmer says the Reiff and Sirles injuries are nothing serious. I love Coach Zimmer, but I’m not going to believe that statement until I see those guys playing next week. He’d probably describe a decapitation as “nothing serious”. “Nah, they’ll be fine, we’ll just staple the head back on.”
Ted has your Stock Market Report from yesterday’s game.
Vikings news from other sources:
The Pioneer Press makes note of Jarius Wright’s nice game yesterday.
News from around the rest of the league:
You hate to see this, Colts rookie safety Malik Hooker tore his ACL and MCL in yesterday’s loss (“loss” is an understatement, sheesh) to the Jaguars.
Catch up on all the scores and highlights from week 7, from the Sporting News.
From the Sporting News, they say the Browns have run out of reasons to stick with Hue Jackson. I’m sure if they fire him, their problems will go away. The Browns have been a very solid organization for a long time, and it’s obvious that a coaching change is what’s needed. Before Jackson got there, they won consistently and developed their quarterbacks very well.
We come to our media selection.
You know what’s coming. Fire up the band, boys & girls!
We all know the rules, but in case someone is new:
-No discussion of politics or religion
-No feeding of the trolls
-This isn't a male version of The View, so leave the gender hatred at the door
-Keep vulgar language to a minimum, using spoiler tags if you must
-No pictures that could get someone fired or in serious trouble with their employer
-If you can't disagree in a civil manner, feel free to go away
-While navigating the open thread, just assume it's sarcasm
With that, the beer light is on and the bar is open. Belly up & tie one on. Don't forget to tip your waitress, & try the blood sausage.